Erie Laccawanna West?

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Erie Laccawanna West?
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, June 08, 2018 2:50 PM

Whats left of the Erie W of Corry PA in operation by short lines?

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Posted by areibel on Monday, June 11, 2018 8:03 AM

From Corry to Meadville PA is owned by the Western New York and Pennsylvania RR, They run east once or twice a week to the WNYP hub in Olean NY on ex-EL trackage.  They also operate the old Erie/EL Franklin branch, from Meadville down through Franklin and Oil City PA and interchange with the Oil Creek and Titusville RR. but NS still operates the Erie line down through SHaron and Greenville PA.  I'm not sure what is left west of that, but there is a video out there of a tour some gent did back in the 90's of the ex-EL line through western Ohio and Indiana.  Not pretty, COnrail was very efficient at removing any chance of someone operating on that line- lots of parking lots and grass fields now!

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, June 11, 2018 1:48 PM

Why was Conrail so hell bent on killing the Erie?

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, June 11, 2018 1:56 PM

The EL line through Hammond was picked up by the City of Hammond in the downtown as payment for back taxes.  From about Hammond Yard to just east of the Ohio line, the line was operated for about two years by the Erie Western and the Chicago & Indiana.  Both efforts were doomed by insufficient traffic.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, June 11, 2018 3:20 PM

Conrail took off all the overhead traffic

 

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, June 11, 2018 5:42 PM

Mr. Progress----Lackawanna not Laccawanna.

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Posted by Steve B500 on Monday, June 11, 2018 6:07 PM

Conrail had the NYC and PRR. It didn't need a third main line from New York to Chicago. Those lengthy segments in Indiana, while briefly government subsidized, remained under ownership of the Erie Lackawanna estate, and it was EL that ultimately scrapped the tracks and sold the land.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, June 11, 2018 6:38 PM

CandOforprogress2

Why was Conrail so hell bent on killing the Erie?

 

 

They already had 2 NY-CHI mainlines.  They didn't need a 3rd, nor would they want a competitor to get it.  Between Ohio and CHI there was also the B&O and NKP/N&W.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 6:54 AM

George W. Hilton once opined that the leading wonder of the Erie was negative: A New York-Chicago main line that managed to miss every major traffic source with the possible exception of Youngstown, OH.  Remember that Buffalo and Cleveland were at the end of branches off the main.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by MP173 on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 11:22 AM

Hilton's article was in the first Trains Magazine I purchased...May, 1972.  It was a great issue and a great article. 

I have been on an EL binge the past month or so and am currently reading H. Roger Grant's excellent book "Erie Lackawanna, Death of an American Railroad, 1938-1992" which covers the recent history of the railroad and the "estate sale" if you will.  Very detailed look at the issues leading to the merger, the bounce back with William White and the final years of operation.

Also, I have been watching a YouTube series on the Lackawanna Cut-Off in New Jersey...14 total videos running from 20 minutes to over an hour.  Lots of detail of the history of the Lackawanna Cut-Off and the mistakes made by EL in giving up the right of way thru Paterson, NJ for building I80.  When PC shut down the New Haven gateway with EL, it was logical to move freight from the Port Jervis line to the Lackawanna line to Croxton.  However, the main line was gone and teh freight trains had to run with the commuter trains.  Not a good situation.

Hurricane Agnes dealt the final blow to survival...over 100 washouts on 95 miles  from Hornell to Owego.  What is of interest is how EL handled the hot UPS TOFC business between Croxton and Chicago up until the end.  

Some have speculated that EL should have survived and could have made it.  I dont think so.  There was never a solid base of commodity traffic (which pays the bills).  Not much coal, steel in Youngstown was drying up, as was the ore traffic.  The Ford Plant in Mahwah closed in 1980.  Manufacturing shifted out the Northeast and the traffic which was left shifted from EL/New Haven to PC.  In the early 60's EL and NH would transfer nearly 500 cars daily...quite a bit of boxcar freight.

Here in NW Indiana, the EL avoided the industrial complex along the lake and missed the steel and refinery traffic.  There wasnt much grain business along the line, elevators seemed to have been built on other lines.

The EL simply ran out of money....and time.

Still it remains a fascinating railroad for me.

 

Ed

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:10 PM

I remember the EL main thru Cleveland and Maple hts  inthe 1970s and even though double track I dont remember seeing a train on it. A local runs once in while now to serve the Stoffers Plant in Solon OH..MMM time for some Stoffers baked cheese and mac washing down with Genny Cream ale,,

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Posted by aricat on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:59 PM

I once got to watch an EL freight passing under the US 30 overpass in Griffiths Indiana in May of 1972. It was the last EL train I saw. I had just read Professor Hilton's article a few days before. I have wished that I had the opportunity to ride the old Erie end to end like he did. The National Rialway Bulletin published by the NRHS; volume 59, number 5, 1994 has a superb article about the Erie by Brian J Cudahy. He states that the breakfast aboard Erie diners was the best on rails.

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Posted by Victrola1 on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:32 PM

"I wanted to get to Chicago in the worst possible way, so I took the Erie." 

A standard joke in the early 20th Century that proved prophetic. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:32 PM

CandOforprogress2
I remember the EL main thru Cleveland and Maple hts  inthe 1970s and even though double track I dont remember seeing a train on it. A local runs once in while now to serve the Stoffers Plant in Solon OH..MMM time for some Stoffers baked cheese and mac washing down with Genny Cream ale,,

The EL line to Cleveland was a dead end branch line.  The Main Line ran from Youngstown through Kent and Talmadge and Akron and Rittman and crossing the B&O at Sterling and continuing on towards the Southwest from Sterling.

         

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 4:25 PM

I think Conrail axing El's mainline wset of Marion OH, was a mistake, there was nothing to slow the trains down.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 5:32 PM

ATSFGuy
I think Conrail axing El's mainline wset of Marion OH, was a mistake, there was nothing to slow the trains down.

By having 'nothing to slow the trains down' the line then also had a insufficient amount of industry generating traffic sufficient to pay for keeping the line active.

While I don't necessarilary agree with all the lines that were abandoned - the reason they were abandoned was generally the same - they didn't earn their keep.

         

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:01 PM

ATSFGuy

I think Conrail axing El's mainline wset of Marion OH, was a mistake, there was nothing to slow the trains down.

I know nothing of that line - but I would opine that the only thing that could keep one like it in action would be sufficient overhead traffic or perhaps the need for directional traffic.

The entire northeast was overbuilt, railroad-wise.  Some pruning was virtually guaranteed.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 8:53 PM

tree68
 
ATSFGuy

I think Conrail axing El's mainline wset of Marion OH, was a mistake, there was nothing to slow the trains down. 

I know nothing of that line - but I would opine that the only thing that could keep one like it in action would be sufficient overhead traffic or perhaps the need for directional traffic.

The entire northeast was overbuilt, railroad-wise.  Some pruning was virtually guaranteed.

And its not like there weren't a plethora of routes pre ConRail between New York and Chicago - NYC, PRR, B&O, ERIE, D&LW-Nickle Plate and if one wants to open it up to East Coast to Chicago add the C&O via Cincinnati and the WM-PLE-Jay Gould carriers.  

After the WW II traffic diminished all the carriers and they went into traffic declines eventually to the point that only two are NY-Chicago (CSX and NS with one each).  If a line segment can't earn its keep with either only line traffic or a exceedingly high level of overhead traffic that is not economical to handle on another route.

         

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Posted by LAWRENCE SMITH on Monday, July 02, 2018 5:15 PM

i watched EL freights run through Hegewisch Ill on the C+WI tracks in the 1972-73 timeframe behind passenger E units and they were really moving. Also in late 70s I was driving S of Ft wayne on SR 1 and crossed what was obviously a recently abandoned EL line at US 224 - double tracked and still with semaphores probably installed right after WW1. Can still see vague outline of old ROW on Google Maps.

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, July 02, 2018 5:28 PM

Was looking at Google Earth a couple of evenings ago - looked at Sterling where ERIE double track mains crossed the B&O's double track mains - and you can no longer see any traces of where the ERIE ran.  This Google display was dated in 2015.

         

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 8:01 AM

LAWRENCE SMITH

i watched EL freights run through Hegewisch Ill on the C+WI tracks in the 1972-73 timeframe behind passenger E units and they were really moving.

 
I believe that the CWI main from State Line to curve at 130th Street had a 50 MPH speed limit.  Just about everything on that line moved at close to track speed.  EL's E8's didn't get into freight service until after the discontinuance of the "Lake Cities" in January 1970.
The CWI line was Alco heaven at that time.  EL ran RS/3's on local freights, PA's worked through freights and transfers and C424/425's were in the mainline pool.  Monon ran C420's and BRC C424's turned up regularly on transfers to Burnham Yard.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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